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New modern machine to treat cancer is in Queensland

By Juliano Oliveira

Brisbane’s Princess Alexandra Hospital has acquired an external beam radiation therapy machine raising the expectations in the treatment of cancers and other conditions.

Brainlab ExacTrac Dynamic technology allows treatment for brain, neck, and lung tumours, prostate cancers, spinal cord metastases and liver metastases.

“With Brainlab radiotherapy system, we can offer patients the treatment capabilities of never-before-seen, high-speed thermal surface tracking technology in combination with an update of ExacTrac X-ray monitoring,” Radiation Oncologist Dr Mark Pinkham said.

The new machine also can be used for hyper-accurate Surface Guided Radiation Therapy (SGRT).

“It is this Surface Guided Radiation Therapy that makes the system unique using advanced camera technology to facilitate 3D tracking of the skin’s surface during radiation set-up and treatment,” says Dr Pinkham.

“This technique provides the radiation therapist with thousands of reference points on a patient’s skin and allows them to precisely track a patient’s movements in real-time during treatment, ensuring radiation is delivered safely and to sub-millimetre accuracy.”

Patients won’t need to be significantly immobilised during therapy since the treatment is more comfortable as the machine responds to movement so precisely.

“The main objective of radiation therapy is to treat the cancer accurately while avoiding collateral damage to key structures and vital organs located near the treatment area to reduce impact on quality of life, and the newest radiation treatment technology at PA Hospital is helping us do just that.”

PA Hospital patient Ian Clarke, who underwent surgery last month to have cancer removed from behind his right ear, said he is ready to be the first person to access the new technology.

“I will be undergoing radiotherapy on the back of my head using the Brainlab machine, and then I’ll be going back later on to have treatment on my chest. Hopefully, this new technology will destroy my cancers for good.”

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